Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Harper government says it is unable to provide the names of passengers who have flown on its fleet of Challenger executive jets since 2006 because it would take longer than a month-and-a-half to assemble the list.
DND did release figures that show that the average cost of feeding passengers has increased sharply since the Tories formed government. It cost taxpayers about $66 for every flying hour to provide food and non-alcoholic beverages to the VIPs aboard the jets in 2005-06, the last full fiscal year under a Liberal government.
But in 2008-09, the food and drink costs jumped to $110 per flying hour.
But, but the Liberals.
During past Liberal governments, DND routinely released the flight manifests with the names of the passengers and details about the origin and destination of each flight. It is unclear why DND was unable to provide similar information to McTeague.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Controversy and chaos marked Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Golden Temple visit.
Harper refused to partake of prasad at Darshani Deodi after being dissuaded by his aide, Alisa Mohammed. He also declined langar.
SGPC officials said she also made them vacate their information office prior to the premier’s arrival. “When we objected, she said she had already spoken to the SGPC secretary on the matter. It is for the first time that we have suffered such humiliation at hands of a foreigner in our own office,” said a senior SGPC official, expressing resentment over the behaviour of the Canadian PM’s staff.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Politics sells. But not about reorganizations within the OLO. Scandals sell. Not Page 3 Sunshine Girls. Political scandals. Stuff people actually care about. Like this.
The federal transport minister's office privately pleaded with Canada's big airlines to step up their lobby campaign to kill a proposed passenger bill of rights even as the minister publicly rallied behind the popular initiative, according to internal documents obtained by Canwest News Service.
This is the type of story that will, if you have the reputation for publishing it, sell papers or bring people to your website. But I couldn't find this on any of the ones I looked at.
Perhaps negative stories about the Conservatives get spiked by editors following the dictates of their corporate owners. The realities of the financial losses will force them to back you.
Maybe you are concerned that under the rigid message control of the Harper government you might get blackballed by Soudas. Big deal. Transcribing PMO press releases in an attempt to find a fictitious balance hasn't sold you any papers. Print the story. Let the PMO know that you will be waiting in the foyer with the other reporters ready to scrum. If he is too much of a coward to face the media, report that. Prominently.
Notwithstanding the piano man moment, no one but the whacko minority likes this guy. Give people a chance to get angry at his government for being two faced and they will jump at it. But be prepared. Buy newsprint and ink futures. You wouldn't want to run out.
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Monday, November 16, 2009
On Friday, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre told reporters that "any decision to ask for Mr. Khadr’s return to Canada is a decision for the democratically elected government of Canada and not for the courts.”
Asked whether that meant the government would ignore the Supreme Court's decision if it rules against it, Poilievre repeated that Khadr's fate should be decided by an elected government and not the courts.
He is akin to the drop of water at the bottom of the smallest crack in a mountain. With every diurnal freeze-thaw cycle, the water drop will expand to fill every crevice and then thaw. The next night it freezes again and the crack grows a bit wider. It will keep doing this until the crack grows and the rock falls apart. By refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of the court (that is why they call it the Supreme Court after all), this Mouth Of Hauron has stated that Harper holds himself above the law of the land in a seemingly innocuous way. At first glance it comes across as a small matter. And coming from a twerp who is prone to bombast like Polievre it doesn't appear too serious. That is probably why it did not prompt much serious reaction. But he was sent on the task by the Dark Lord himself. There is no freelancing with this government.
This tactic is along the same lines as Harper's Picador and John "Catapult" Baird. Each of them has laid out the disrespect they have for any edifice that stands in their way. Even Harper joins in on this task by wearing away at the Governor General's office by undermining it's authority and usurping it's prerogatives.
There may come a point when it is time for a more senior member of the government to dispute the rule of law. Perhaps during a close election or some other issue critical to the government's survival. Then the fact they have laid the groundwork for ignoring the checks and balances of the government will bear fruit. Everyday and in every way imaginable and several that are not, the Conservatives and cracking apart the foundations of Canada.
H/T to the Canis latrans that has wandered to the side of the valley upwind of the smelter. Although I had a marvelous weekend away, I have been wanting to post on this since I read her post on Friday.Recommend this Post
Friday, November 13, 2009
Part 1 Chapter 2
So I started the day ready to call "As if" on Don Martin's claim that he just happened to get stopped by a policeman who just happened to volunteer a viewpoint that nicely tied into the theme of his blog entry. Yeah, I'm sure it happened just like that. Mr. Martin once again proved himself worthy of the honorific "Head Harper Hagiographer"
But that post had to be tossed aside once Par-vison hit submit on this opus:The Tory guide to a blue Canada (MEIB) (Typos in quote are all his)
Anew opinion poll put the Conservatives 10 points ahead of their Liberal rivals yesterday, but the real cause for celebration in Tory ranks is their creeping victory in the brand war they believe is the foundation for long-term electoral success.
The new guide is a 60-page potted history lesson that walks the reader through the highlights of Canada's pre-and post-Confederation story, pointing out the symbols, values and heroes who have made this country what it is -- that is, one currently run by the Conservatives.
It might easily be dismissed as a glossy brochure, but that underestimates the thought and effort that went into it. This is not tinsel, it's symbolism and is yet another incremental step in the re-branding of Canada into a conservative country, full of people more inclined to vote Conservative.
I am afraid not. Rather than excoriate Conservatives for propaganda he ridicules Liberals for
choosing leaders on the basis of their ability to weigh the evidence, and put forward the best facts, issues and policies.To Ivison this is a bad thing. Back to 1984 and life imitating art.
Parsons, his attention caught by the trumpet call, sat listening with a sort of gaping solemnity, a sort of edified boredom. He could not follow the figures, but he was aware that they were in some way a cause for satisfaction.
Repeat after Ivison:
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Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Congratulations Senator Mike Duffy, you've finally done it.
With his wild rant on a CBC national politics show this week, the television icon has accomplished the difficult feat of offending all those in his parliamentary orbit -- his former journalistic occupation, the Conservative party, senators, MPs and even the prime minister who appointed him.
Anyone who thinks Harper was offended by this or any of Duffy's other antics is unaware of the reason for his appointment. Mike Duffy has done nothing but discredit the Senate. That is the whole point. As with the manufactured tiff with the Governor General, the aim is to wear away at the institutions of Canada. To lower them in the eyes of the public so that there is less resistance to the abolition of the state.
In this way, Duffy is like a picador, stabbing at the Senate, weakening it so that Harper the Matador (I wouldn't be surprised if he dresses up for the part in the privacy of 24 Sussex) can deliver the coup de grace.
Those who love Canada are offended by Duffy. I doubt this is the case with Harper.Recommend this Post
Thursday, November 5, 2009
...But sometimes, despite our best intentions, we handle things in a way that may not have the desired outcome.
It seems there are many parents who let their children do what they want, buy them most every thing they ask for, and let them get by without any household responsibilities. The children may enjoy having parents that remind us a little of a jellyfish: parents who say no, but will give in with a little begging and pushing. These parents say, "don't do that", but do not give the child any consequences should he or she "do it" anyway. They have no firm boundaries or guidelines, causing the children to continue pushing the limits just to see what the "real" limit is.
This type of parenting may work without any serious consequences until the children become teenagers. As teens, the children often begin pushing limits in harmful ways, such as smoking, driving too fast, staying out past curfew, and having sex. If parents try to establish firmer control at this point by setting limits and consequences, the teen will likely become defiant, resulting in a stormy teen/parent relationship. The parents may wonder what they did wrong; after all, they have been good parents, giving their child everything.
No why I am referring to this on a political blog? This is why. The media enables this behaviour by these contemptible Conservatives. And just like a jellyfish parent, they get angry but then relent and let petulant Peter Van Loan and other Ministers ignore reasonable questions. A great example was Robert Fife during the last election campaign. He was pig biting made when the RCMP blocked access to Harper at a photo-op but soon forgot all about it and resumed cheerleading for Mr. Angry.
They have no one to blame but themselves. Regardless of the party, if a politician shows this kind of contempt for the public's right to know the answer to a reasonable direct question, rip him a new one and keep ripping till he does.Recommend this Post
With regards the Action Plan, I was thinking that, living in the heart of Con-Land as I do, I have not seen a single sign. Could it be that they are not only ignoring the Opposition ridings but are also neglecting the safe seats as well?Recommend this Post
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
If you refer to milking gloves, this is what you mean. So you might expect that milking mittens refers to something similar. It actually refers to this.
Of the two that first come to mind, one is that the Conservatives lose a thumping tub. Irrational hatred of the gun registry is a strong bit of connective tissue for the Conservatives. Their love of wedge politics will result in a sacrifice of this issue for future fundraising and rabble rousing tactics. This is the best to be made of a bad deal.
The other is that at some point, a tragedy will occur which could have been prevented or mitigated by the registry. And the need for a registry will again become apparent. Steve V has a good post on the rationale for a free vote. I believe he has a point. Free votes are great but they carry personal responsibility. That future tragedy will be on the conscience of those who vote to repeal the registry to save their political skins. This does not apply to Conservatives. Their sins are beyond expiation.Recommend this Post
And then she pointed out that former Harper aide Ken Bossenkool is a lobbyist for GSK.
The Globe failed, however, to note Boessenkool is one of Stephen Harper's closest associates. Nor did it reveal he is a registered lobbyist working for a drug company benefitting from the surprise inclusion in the federal budget, passed last night, of $300 million for cervical cancer vaccine for girls.
Boessenkool has been Stephen Harper's close friend for years and a trusted advisor and confidant in almost all of Harper's leadership and political campaigns. He is a long-time Reform-Alliance-Conservative operative and is registered to lobby the federal government.
The Ottawa Citizen reported in February that Boessenkool registered to lobby the federal government on immunization policy on behalf of Merck Frosst Canada.
In his filings with the Registrar of Lobbyists, Boessenkool listed as his potential points of contact, the Prime Minister's Office, Health Canada, Industry Canada, Privy Council Office and MPs. ...
Those who read his article deserve at the least to know of Boessenkool's long and close association with Harper and the Right. The two men became friends in 1993 when Harper became the MP for Calgary West and Boessenkool began to work for Reform MP Ray Speaker. ...
Still smarting from their loss, Harper, Boessenkool, Tom Flanagan, Ted Morton and others wrote their infamous "firewall" letter ... When Harper ran for the leadership of the new Conservative Party of Canada in 2003, Boessenkool quickly stepped out of the opposition offices and back onto Harper's campaign team. ...
Boessenkool's relationship with Harper goes well beyond the professional. ... The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper. In the book, Mackey describes Boessenkool as an evangelical Christian whose children are home schooled, and as "another of Harper's spiritual mentors listened to both at the economic and the faith levels."
So to connect a few dots. A large part of the hold-up in the H1N1 vaccine delivery is due to the contract being awarded to a single company. The lobbyist for that company is a very close friend and associate of Stephen Harper with the demonstrated ability to seal the deal when it comes to landing big contracts with Health Canada. This explains some of the lame attempts to blame the Liberals for the sole source contract issue.
This issue just moved a whole lot closer to the PMO.
Update: I believe this link between Harper and the sole source of the vaccines is important so I have bumped this up.Recommend this Post
Monday, November 2, 2009
ealth Minister Leona Aglukkaq arrived for Question Period today, plugged herself in and repeatedly spoke the lines of the PMO-supplied H1N1 vaccine message track.“Mr. Speaker, six million doses were produced ahead of schedule. As soon as they were available and authorized they were transferred to the provinces and territories for their roll-out. We will see thousands more this week and one million more next week.”Ministers are allowed 35 seconds to answer. Ms. Aglukkaq never went over her time limit. Her tempo and inflection never changed. ...
It didn’t matter, however, what was said or asked. Ms. Aglukkaq did not and would not veer from the script, a script that she has been using for days now. ...
And Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have been so proud, had he been there.I have a feeling this sort of disrespect for the representatives of the majority of Canadians was possible when people weren't paying attention. Now that Canadians are connected to the issue, continuing this strategy will do them nothing but harm.Recommend this Post
Sunday, November 1, 2009
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